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November 17, 2009

Shorties (Bowerbirds, Osamu Tezuka, and more)

Bowerbirds play a tiny desk concert at NPR Music.


The Guardian profiles comics legend Osamu Tezuka and his creation, Astro Boy.

Tezuka's comics look outward to the world, too: his influences are decisively international. Individual frames, as McCarthy points out, reference Captain Nemo, Frankenstein – and isn't that Mickey Mouse's hat from Fantasia? The backgrounds are pure Fritz Lang, full of hovercars reminiscent of chrome-crusted American cars from the 1950s. Astro Boy himself is a reimagining of Pinocchio (who is, perhaps, a semi-cutesy descendent of the Golem, the creature from Jewish myth made of inanimate matter).


Two worthwhile new biographies of Leon Trotsky: Trotsky: A Biography, by Robert Service and the graphic novel Trotsky: A Graphic Biography, by Rick Geary.


The A.V. Club interviews Jonathan Safran Foer about his new book, Eating Animals.


Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys talks to the Guardian about his film, Separado!, which traces his family origins in Patagonia.


The National Post profiles singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt.


NPR reviews and excerpts from A.S. Byatt's new novel, The Children's Book.


The New Yorker features a new short story by Sam Shepard.


The Daily Swarm interviews legendary music producer Steve Albini.


The Oxford American remembers author Donald Harrington.


At her Monitor Mix blog, Carrie Brownstein solicits reader advice for the music industry.


Bob Dylan has a new video for his holiday song, "Must Be Santa."


Lissie visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.


also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2009" book lists
online "best of 2009" music lists
best of the decade (2000-2009) online music lists

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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